NBK in $1.4bn Kuwait project financing deal
Kuwait, December 14, 2013
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), a leading bank in Kuwait, said it has successfully arranged a $1.43 billion loan in co-ordination with other local commercial banks to finance the first phase of the Az-Zour North Power and Desalination Project in Kuwait.
NBK is the only Kuwaiti and the only Arab bank to take part in this consortium. It is also the largest contributor to the financing among the participating commercial banks, said the country's top lender.
In addition to NBK, the consortium includes Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) - both are Japanese governmental agencies - Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered Bank.
The shareholders of the special purpose Project Company, Shamal Az-Zour Al-Oula for the Building, Execution, Operation, Management and Maintenance of the First Phase of Az-Zour Power Plant K.S.C., are Azour North One (40 per cent), Kuwaiti public institutions (10 per cent), and the remaining 50 per cent will be made available to the Kuwaiti citizens through an IPO following the commencement of operations.
The Project Company will build a combined cycle natural gas-fired power plant with the capacity of approximately 1,500 MW and a seawater desalination plant with the capacity of approximately 105 million imperial gallons per day at Az-Zour North. It will sell the power and freshwater generated to the Ministry of Electricity and Water for 40 years on the BOOT basis.
Commenting on the move, NBK Kuwait CEO Shaikha Al Bahar said: “Being the only Kuwaiti and Arab bank in this consortium and having the largest contribution to the financing reflects the bank’s strong reputation, professionalism and track-record in arranging and leading mega financing deals in Kuwait and the region.”
“NBK has always been at the forefront in supporting Kuwait’s power sector,” stated Shaikha Al Bahar.
“In addition to its importance to increase the power production in order to meet the growing demand, this project is the first in Kuwait under the PPP scheme. This is an indication of the improvement in the execution of Kuwait’s Development Plan. We are positive on Kuwait’s economic outlook as more projects are expected to be implemented in the future,” she added.-TradeArabia News Service